The French Revolution

France Declares War
Revolutionary Tradition and Les Mis
Revolution 1789
--The Monarchy
--Tennis Court Oath
--Fall of the Bastille
--October Days
--Declaration of War
--Palace Invaded
--Louis XVI
--Reign of Terror
-- Fall of Robespierre
--At war
1789 in Les Miserables
--The Terror
--The People
--The Students
--The Monarchy
--Place de Concord
--Notre Dame
Daily Sites
--Street Names
--Children's Names and Games
Works Consulted


 French forces are victorious at Valmy, image in Decaux.

By 1792, European Monarchs were eyeing France with suspicion. They had seen the overthrow of Louis XVI, by the French people, and worried that revolutionary fervor would spread to their countries. However, the monarchs were too suspecting of each other to unite against France.

While elsewhere in Europe caution was being displayed, in France the public opinion was for war. Reactionaries and the monarchy wanted war because they thought that the new government would be easily defeated by foreign powers. This would pave the way for a return to the old regime, with Louis at the head of government. Revolutionaries wanted war because they thought war would unify the country, and had a genuine desire to spread the ideas of the Revolution to all of Europe.

On April 20, 1792, the Legislative Assembly (France's governing body, formed in 1791) declared war on Austria. Although the French fared poorly at first, the armies became more successful as the war progressed.

This painting commemorates The Battle of Valmy, which was a turning point for French forces. It took place in September of 1792, and was one of the Republic's first victories (Schwartz).

For more information on the war and Les Miserables click here.

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